Brain edema growth after thrombectomy is associated with comprehensive collateral blood flow

J Neurointerv Surg. 2023 Nov 2:jnis-2023-020921. doi: 10.1136/jnis-2023-020921. Online ahead of print.


Background: We determined whether a comprehensive assessment of cerebral collateral blood flow is associated with ischemic lesion edema growth in patients successfully treated by thrombectomy.

Methods: This was a multicenter retrospective study of ischemic stroke patients who underwent thrombectomy treatment of large vessel occlusions. Collateral status was determined using the cerebral collateral cascade (CCC) model, which comprises three components: arterial collaterals (Tan Scale) and venous outflow profiles (Cortical Vein Opacification Score) on CT angiography, and tissue-level collaterals (hypoperfusion intensity ratio) on CT perfusion. Quantitative ischemic lesion net water uptake (NWU) was used to determine edema growth between admission and follow-up non-contrast head CT (ΔNWU). Three groups were defined: CCC+ (good pial collaterals, tissue-level collaterals, and venous outflow), CCC- (poor pial collaterals, tissue-level collaterals, and venous outflow), and CCCmixed (remainder of patients). Primary outcome was ischemic lesion edema growth (ΔNWU). Multivariable regression models were used to assess the primary and secondary outcomes.

Results: 538 patients were included. 157 patients had CCC+, 274 patients CCCmixed, and 107 patients CCC- profiles. Multivariable regression analysis showed that compared with patients with CCC+ profiles, CCC- (β 1.99, 95% CI 0.68 to 3.30, P=0.003) and CCC mixed (β 1.65, 95% CI 0.75 to 2.56, P<0.001) profiles were associated with greater ischemic lesion edema growth (ΔNWU) after successful thrombectomy treatment. ΔNWU (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.8, P<0.001) and CCC+ (OR 13.39, 95% CI 4.88 to 36.76, P<0.001) were independently associated with functional independence.

Conclusion: A comprehensive assessment of cerebral collaterals using the CCC model is strongly associated with edema growth and functional independence in acute stroke patients successfully treated by endovascular thrombectomy.

Keywords: Stroke; Thrombectomy; Vein.